As a salute to Black Music Month, NY1's Dean Meminger profiles Dennis Edwards, the powerful lead singer for The Temptations.
With that deep powerful voice, Dennis Edwards became a household name in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During that time he was the lead singer for the Temptations and he was known for the song "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone."
The song was a smash hit, but Edwards says initially he was concerned about singing the song.
“Really, I said, 'What are we talking about here?' I said, 'My parents are going to kill me if I go home and sing Papa is a rolling stone.' Sure enough, man, it was a great hit,” he says.
Nowadays, fans still love to hear it as he performs with his Temptations' Review.
Although Edwards is not one of the original Temptations, he surely has a legendary role with the group. He took over as lead singer in 1968, and the following year the Temptations won their first Grammy Award, which was also the first for the soulful Motown Records. "Cloud Nine" was the song.
Edwards says one of his first critical performances was in New York at the Copacabana.
“They said, 'This is going to be your test.' When I got on the stage I saw there were about 15 people writing," says Edwards.
He says all of the Temptations over the years were great, despite some battling addiction and other problems which lead to their deaths.
"It's kind of sad. The four guys still could be here -- Eddie [Kendricks], David [Ruffin], Paul [Williams] and Melvin [Franklin]. They all have different stories of why they are not here,” says Edwards.
Recently at the Lehman College's Theater, Edwards performed all of the hits as fans lined up to meet him.
“I always got to come to New York,” he said after the concert.
In 1984, Edwards had a solo hit with "Don't Look Any Further," which introduced him to another group of fans and entertainers.
“Several of the great rappers have used it. At first, you're a little upset about it, but then you're proud of it because if they use your record, you are doing something good,” says Edwards.
He says he is going to keep on doing something good, as long as he can.